A curriculum serves as a guide for educators in teaching no matter what course they are teaching. They serve as the totality of the instructions, the lessons taught, the learner’s experience, amongst other things. When creating a curriculum for a course, whether it’s a science course for one semester in college or a writing course that will be taken over the summer, it is important to factor in the importance of having good learning outcomes.
Learning outcomes are a description of the learning that the learners are supposed to achieve at the end of the learning period. These are not just knowledge but must include the action that the student or learner must be able to demonstrate. Aside from that, there should also be a condition and a performance standard that must be met when the evaluation is done.
If you are planning to make a curriculum in the near future, take a look at the tips below to help you in creating one.
- Determine the purpose of the curriculum and the essentials that need to be learned – when writing a curriculum, it might be tempting to cram as many subjects and learning experiences in the course, but you need be careful because you might be putting too much and the learners will just be stressed and pressured. Determine the most important things that need to be learned and build your curriculum around those skills.
- Remember that it is about the learner and not the instructor – there is a tendency that teachers would want to show off all their skills and knowledge to their group of learners. But remember that it is not about you or what you want. The goal is for the learners to acquire new skills, so you need to create learning experiences with that goal in mind.
- Be clear about the learning outcomes that must be achieved – don’t state your objective by stating that “at the end of the course, the learners will learn how to write.” Make it more specific. If you are familiar with the SMART outcomes, then you know that your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
- Make use of Bloom’s taxonomy of objectives – to help you when creating learning outcomes, do what most educators do and that is to get their verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. There are already levels to Bloom’s taxonomy, starting from knowledge, then comprehension. application. analysis, synthesis and lastly, evaluation.
- Be realistic about the timeline – if your course only runs for a month or less, do not try to cram a semester’s worth of facts and instruction into your curriculum. Be realistic about the time, and only put what can realistically be acquired by the learners. The important thing is for your learners to get new knowledge and learn new skills. Your learning outcomes do not have to be a lot. Some curriculum developers only write a couple of learning outcomes because more than that and might be hard to achieve.